Our fine lunch group met for the first time in 2016 at our special venue, the Santa Barbara Club with a wine theme of Burgundy. As usual, this broad theme was met with an enthusiastic assortment of stellar brings which was paired with the excellent cuisine of long term chef, Humberto.
For those like myself who are overly excited by all things Burgundy, it was heaven on earth.
After some special appetizers we had-
Sun choke bisque with truffle oil and chives [superb]
Local seabass with ginger carrot puree and vanilla coriander sauce
Chicken Fricassee with fingerling potatoes
Duck confit with parsnip chanterelle mushrooms and duck reduction
Gruyere, gouda, goat cheese, Saint Andre, Cambozola
Poached pear with lavender sauce
We had 2 white Burgs to start us off and both were stellar:
2011 HENRI BOILLOT CORTON CHARLEMAGNE GRAND CRU- this offered really nice aromas and flavors starting with fresh flowers and mild but noticeable citrus which then gave way to some minerality; later on, in came some lemon-lime with a buttery accent; it had a mild to medium body weight and taste profile; it definitely showed its youthfulness and still managed to please and prepare our palates for all to come.
2012 CHARTRON et TREBUCHET LES EMBAZEES CHASSAGNE MONTRACHET 1ER CRU- the nose was somewhat muted, but the first sip revealed an explosion of flavors with loads of honeysuckle laden lemon citrus in a cream sauce; the dichotomy from the nose to the taste profile was quite profound; once there, it continued on for a long finish; simply delightful.
2nd flight of 2 [now for the reds]:
2009 NICOLAS ROSSIGNOL les CAILLERETS VOLNAY 1ER CRU- this had such an inviting nose with a big dose of spice and clove saturated red cherries; by mid palate, the taste profile moved into more of plum, black cherry/ berry and stayed the course through the end; another treat to initiate a great day of Burgundy.
2013 PAUL LATO ZOTOVICH VINEYARD”SEABISCUIT” RESERVE PINOT NOIR- brought by one of our attendees who made the wine, this was a good Pinot Noir that served to easily delineate the Burgundy version from the new world version of the varietal if I can make that generality; this was very fruit forward with an oaky touch; I got spicy cranberry, red cherry/ berry with a bit of sweetness; it was soft and easy on the palate and with time, should even out and be even more enjoyable.
3RD flight of 4:
1997 SYLVAIN CATHIARD AUX MALCONSORTS VOSNE ROMANEE 1ER CRU- this was pleasant and giving with notes of dried red cherry prevailing; it held up nicely from early on until late in the palate when it finished somewhat dry.
1990 DOMAINE ROBERT JAYER-GILLES HAUTES-COTES de BEAUNE BOURGOGNE- the aromatics including spicy red fruit enticed for further exploration which led to more concentrated and pleasing red fruit notes that did not stay around to the end; it had a light to medium body; a 2nd taste revealed more balance and overall tastiness; very good.
2006 VINCENT GIRARDIN CLOS de la ROCHE GRAND CRU- I got a mild hit of Brett in the nose which did not dissipate with time; underlying was some briary, spicy, cinnamon cranberry with a tad of burnt toastiness; the barnyard aroma and taste was still evident after a 2nd return much later; this was definitely a bottle variation as I`ve had others that were very good representatives of CDLR which is what I expected to get out of this bottle.
2003 MAISON DOMINIQUE LAURENT MAZES-CHAMBERTIN GRAND VIN de BOURGOGNE NUITS ST. GEORGES- after a somewhat muted nose, the taste profile expanded to include cherry, plum and blueberry; it had decent mouthfeel and a long finish; since this improved dramatically while in the glass, a decant probably would have enhanced the somewhat restrained treasures.
4th flight of 2:
2000 MAISON BERTRAND AMBROISE CORTON le ROGNET GRAND CRU- this lovely wine gave up nice red and black fruit with cranberry being the most dominant; it had a medium body with nice length and pleased from the nose through the tail made even more so by its soft tactile comfort.
2007 HOSPICES de BEAUNE CUVEE NICOLAS ROLIN 1ER CRU- another pleaser, this had lots of wild fruitiness a little on the tart side but not to a fault; it had medium tannic structure and seemingly needs some time to evolve; it definitely has the stuffing to mature into a delightful red Burg.
5th flight of 2:
2000 DOMAINE DROUHIN-LAROZE MUSIGNY GRAND CRU- this really fine wine was not big, but it sure was giving in abundance of all things good about Burgundy; it had wonderful balance and a light fresh fruit profile with especially cranberry cherry flavors that were embellished with spice and talc; the profound feature of this wine was its finesse; it just stayed the course and consistently held its ground throughout; a treat.
1999 FREDERIC ESMONIN CHAMBERTIN CLOS de BEZE GRAND CRU- immediately, I loved this as the aromatics were jumping out of the glass and when I got my nose into, all was confirmed, it was so plentiful of floral and fresh light red fruit which by mid palate was more of strawberry with spice and mild pepper accents; the hallmark for me on this one was its incredible mouthfeel; it was silky smooth from the beginning taste as well as repeated re-tasting; at this point, this is my fav of all before it.
6th flight of 2:
1990 DOMAINE ROBERT GROFFIER BONNES-MARES GRAND CRU- this had a corkiness immediately noticeable in the nose and confirmed in the taste; I tried to move past it to get other notes, but kept coming up with wet cardboard; I have to think this was a bottle variation for this special wine from a special vintage.
1998 DOMAINE COMTE GEORGES de VOGUE BONNES-MARES GRAND CRU- enticing fruit floral aromatics were followed by a taste of both wild and tame red and dark fruit notes; this wine had decent balance and landed in the middle of both finesse and power; it had a medium body and weight and a long satisfying finish; quality and excellence in a glass.
7TH flight of 3:
Maison Leroy, the negociant, was joined by the Domaine in 1989. The important distinction is that Maison buys its own fruit as opposed to the Domaine`s use of their own estate vineyard fruit. If I read the labels correctly, the following 3 wines were all from the negociant side.
1999 MAISON LEROY POMMARD 1ER CRU- this came in on the lighter side of things both for the fruitiness and the body; red cherry was the prevailing fruit showing up and there was a hint of smokiness that came if by mid palate; nice wine seemingly more in the feminine aspect of expression= charm and elegance.
1985 MAISON LEROY POMMARD les VIGNOTS- nicely balanced, the tertiary fruit notes consisted of concentrated somewhat dried red cherry/ berry that provided a nice taste treat; it was evenly pleasurable from the nose all the way through to the back end.
1997 MAISON LEROY CORTON-RENARDES GRAND CRU- the nose on this one was way more suggestive of good things to come; there was some of the wildness in the fruit here which provided a deviation from the first 2; however, this was exceptionally delightful as a taste treat and an entire experience; there was wild, young red raspberry along with a hit of clove and white pepper that framed the fruit nicely; as to calling this a red Burg., I might be challenged in a blind tasting; I liked it a lot for what it was.
8th flight of 2 dessert wines:
2002 CHATEAU TIRECUL LA GRAVIERE CUVEE MADAME BRUNO BILANCINI MONBAZILLAC- our prince of sweets brought another stellar sweetie as this one coated the palate early on with honeyed, sugared apricot, peach and pear fruitiness in a medium body; it was in a word, “delicious” and even though it was not chilled, my forehead experienced a strong ice cream response= sugar blast.
1994 GRAHAM`S VINTAGE PORT- another fine additional bring as many in our group are known to do, this was also delicious offering talc, sandalwood and a bit of alcohol in the nose that did not continue on beyond that point; overall it was very tasty and surprisingly to me, was only of mild to medium in the taste profile; it was thick and creamy and suggestive of Smith Brother`s cough drops.
My kind of lunch. I would only add a few bottles of champagne and a few more white Burgs to complete the deal, but hey.
Life is so good.
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